Tamaqua is kicking off its annual Spirit of Christmas Festival on Thursday, Dec. 2.

The four-day festival runs through Sunday, Dec. 5.

The fest combines the efforts of several organizations, including the Tamaqua Area Community Partnership and Chamber of Commerce, Tamaqua Historical Society, Eastern Schuylkill Recreation Commission and Tamaqua Beautification Association.

Several popular attractions will once again be held during this year's festival, including the Santa Parade, Breakfast with Santa, Christmas tree and cookie contests and the community tree lighting.

The following is a list of highlighted events for the festival. For more information, contact the chamber of commerce at (570) 668-1880 or visit www.tamaqua.net online.

Thursday, Dec. 2

Historic Walking Tour beginning at 6:30 p.m. The tour will depart from the Tamaqua Historical Society Museum and encompass sites of interest from the borough's heritage.

"The Nativity in Music" Bethany Evangelical Congregational Church, 6:30 p.m. Barry Gangwer will serve as host for this free program, using various musical examples to describe the events and characters of the Christmas Story.

Friday, Dec. 3

Santa Parade and Depot Square Park Illumination 6:30 p.m., sponsored by the Tamaqua Area Chamber of Commerce. Santa and Mrs. Claus will stop at the park to illuminate the fountain and park area, then they will continue to the Tamaqua Art Gallery (at the chamber office at 114 W. Broad St.) for photos and visits with children.

The Christmas Tree Festival will then begin at the gallery from 7-9 p.m.

Stonehedge Gardens will hold Christmas tree lightings on Friday and Saturday from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Reservations are required. Call (570) 386-4276 for more information.

Saturday, Dec. 4

Breakfast with Santa Tamaqua Salvation Army, 105 W. Broad St., starting at 9 a.m. and sponsored by the Eastern Schuylkill Recreation Commission. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (570) 668-1880.

A craft show will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Trinity United Church of Christ.

Moser House Tours 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tours of the historic Burkhardt Moser Log House, the first home in Tamaqua, which is located to the rear of 307 East Broad St.

A vendor fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Tamaqua YMCA.

The Christmas tree festival will continue at the art gallery from noon to 3 p.m.

Also, the Christmas cookie contest judging will be held at the gallery from 2-3 p.m. For contest details, call (570) 668-1252 or (570) 386-3613.

Sunday, Dec. 5

Bach and Handel Chorale St. John United Church of Christ, 150 Pine St., 4 p.m. Light refreshments will be served following the concert. Tickets are required and can be purchased at the chamber office.

Community Christmas Tree Lighting Depot Square Park, 6 p.m., sponsored by Tamaqua Beautification.

The tree lighting ceremony will be followed by the announcement of the winners of the tree festival and cookie contests.